Monday, October 26, 2015

Fun with the Boe-Bot

By Matt Jones

Figure 1: Board of Education on Boe-Bot.
The Boe-Bot is a small robot that can be programmed to do several different things.  This past week I have spent lots of time setting up activities for the Boe-Bot. I will be holding a workshop within the next few weeks to teach some of the basics of the Boe-Bot to students that are interested in using these fun and exciting robots. Not only will students be able to gain a better understanding of what a micro-controller is, they will also be able to see what the Boe-Bot does by writing code that will run on the Board of Education.

Figure 2: Boe-Bot with inferred sensors.

The Boe-Bots are programmed using PBASIC. This is a programming language created by Parallax Inc. that allows new programmers to easily create actual programs that will tell the robot what to do. In my workshop, I will be showing students some more complicated things that the Boe-Bot is capable of doing and each student will get the chance to manipulating code to make the Boe-Bot complete fun and interesting tasks.
Keep checking the announcements and the #ORHackShack for more details on my upcoming workshop.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Green Screen Workshop

By Lilia Pettit

Last week, on October 15th I held a workshop for the green screen in the Hack Shack. About eight people attended and successfully learned how to work the green screen using the Veescope Live app on the iPad.  They also invented new ways to use the green screen.  One of the most innovative techniques was when a few of the people put a chair behind the green screen and draped the screen over the top.  They then decided they would sit or lay on the chair and pretended they could fly.  Since you couldn't see the chair behind the screen it actually looked as if they were floating in the air.  By the end of the workshop everyone had learned how to work the green screen app and by the amount of laughter in the room, I think everyone had a good time.  Everyone seemed to get the hang of the green screen in no time and overall, I think some great memories were made.     

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

3D Printing a Partially Floating Object

by Coleman Moore

Today I did a few tests on how to print objects that are partially floating. The first test I did was to try and print an object that had pieces that were partially floating not using supports. The second test I did was print an object with supports that only had very minuscule parts floating as seen in this picture.

The third test I did was to print an object that was mostly floating or that had large parts hanging in the air, this can be seen in this picture.

To turn on supports all you need to do is click on the settings tab in maker bot and the check the supports box.

Unfortunately when this model printed it was missing a leg which means that the supports feature doesn’t comprehend the need to build supports under a flouting object though the arm which was pointed down slightly came out incredibly well which leaves me perplexed about the limits of the make bot.

The model can be seen in this picture.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Ready or not, here we come!

By Mrs. Pearce

Are we ready to open the doors of our new makerspace? No way! Will we ever be ready? Probably not. It’s kind of like removing a band-aid. Just rip it off fast—it will only sting for a minute.
So, let me back up for a moment and explain. We are turning the back room of our library, which used to be a group study area, into a makerspace. Thanks to a Chris Nelson grant from NHSTE and some funds we were able to scrape together from the library budget at the end of last year, we have a 3D printer, Little Bits, a green screen and a BOE-Bot. There’s a bin of legos, some craft supplies, and soon a sewing machine or two.

The space is being run mostly by students who are enrolled in our new Advanced IT Services class. The class (loosely known as “Help Desk”) is an independent study supervised by our computer teacher Pam Carr. Students in the class are learning how to use the makerspace technology, creating tutorials to share with others, and running workshops for students and staff on a variety of topics. It was hard getting the word out initially, so we only had two students signed up at the start of the year, but word is spreading and we now have a staff of five students. National Honor Society volunteers are filling some periods, and the library staff will keep an eye on things during after school hours.

Last week was supposed to be our “soft opening,” but our staffing was a bit thin, and the kids were still a bit bewildered as to what exactly they were supposed to be doing, so it wasn’t much of an opening. Today is the grand opening! And by that, we mean that we’re going to prop the door open. No balloons, nothing fancy. In fact, nothing grand about it. Except that I hear laughter. And beeping. And already kids are doing cool things that I never would have thought of. (and don’t totally understand)

Graphing With Excel

By Lilia Pettit

It is that time of year again when students need to know how to create a graph using Excel. I hope you will find these directions useful when completing your lab reports and other projects! Just click on the link below and get started!

Graphing With Excel